SFI Digital Food Quality (DigiFoods) is a research centre that will develop smart sensors for food quality assessment directly in the processing lines. The obtained information will be used for optimisation of processes and value chains, thereby making the food industry more efficient and sustainable.
In-line and at-line measurement of food quality is extremely challenging due to the huge biological variation in raw materials. DigiFoods will develop sensor solutions based on a fundamental understanding of food science, processing and modern sensor technology, which will allow the food industry to effectively measure and handle these variations in true time. DigiFoods will also introduce robotics to enable automatic measurements in challenging processes and in the field.
– The most pressing issue is to develop smart sensors that can measure and digitise the most relevant food quality features, and use this information to optimise processes to reduce food waste and increase profit, says Jens Petter Wold, Centre Director at DigiFoods.
Massive assessment of the essential food qualities throughout the value chains will pave the way for a digital transformation of the food production. Based on such quality measures, Digifoods will develop novel strategies for process control with the aim of reducing food waste and increasing profitability. The research centre will also study and develop concepts for how large scale quality measurements can be used for 1) improvements in primary production, and 2) product differentiation to different consumer segments, with the aim of reducing food waste in households.
DigiFoods will combine applied and basic research to generate new knowledge, evaluate prototype solutions, and create results for innovation in the following core areas:
- Novel sensor systems and food application development
- Integration of robotics and food sensors
- Integrated sensor solutions for industrial use
- Analysis and utilisation of large-scale process and value chain data
The consortium of 27 partners will function as an innovation hub for food industry, technology providers and scientific groups. DigiFoods is led by Nofima, with Sintef Digital and the Norwegian University for Life Sciences (NMBU) as the major scientific partners.
Jens Petter Wold